• What the heck is it with email lists, anyway? This has been bothering me for a while, and I finally had to say something about it.

    It's really easy to get on email lists, but it's bloody near impossible to get off of them. We've become suspicious of those "unsubscribe" links, because when spammers realize that you're actually reading their trash, they send you more of it!

    But I am subscribed to a few legitimate mailing lists. In the past, I've signed up for mailing lists specifically for discounts. JCPenney and Steak & Ale, for instance. You can tell they're legitimate because they're run on the company's own domain, and they follow a reasonable advertising model: descriptive titles with correct grammar and spelling, content equivalent to title, contact information, and unsubscribe link going to the company's own domain.

    However, my lifestyle has changed since I signed up for these lists. I hardly ever go to Steak & Ale any more, especially since they messed up their filet mignon by covering it in... well, whatever they had handy. Herbs, or peppercorns, or whatever. Their unsubscribe link took me to a nice page and wiped me off their list with no problem. I immediately got the "you've been unsubscribed" email.

    What kind of chip you got in there, a Dorito?

    It's a pity that not every corporation understands computers so well. I'm looking at you, JCPenney. Their unsubscribe link took me to an "account settings" page. All the options were a bit confusing. (One was for email frequency: "weekly" or "monthly". I could swear I've been getting them two or three times a week.) Anyway, after figuring it out, it was just two mouse clicks to unsubscribe (if only I could get off spammers' lists that easily!). But then I got the horrible notification you see at left.

    TEN DAYS!? TEN days? What are they running their list computers on, a single Sinclair ZX81? (I used to have one of those. I liked it a lot.) Perhaps they have to put all the changes on punch cards with a handheld punch, then transfer it to a casette tape. Maybe the cassette player is broken, and they need to yodel at 300 baud instead?

    And it's a "weekly" newsletter! I could receive two more of these before I'm finally free. It's just not worth it, not for any discount.

    Of course, whenever I see this kind of thing, I'm always suspicious that they're using the ten days to distribute my email and personal details to their "trusted associates".

    Why, in the age of technology, do I have to wait TEN DAYS for a computerized process to be amended? Stop abusing my civilization!

  • They're cute when they're asleep
    They're cute when they're awake
    Two cuties

    We've been fostering this cat, Mimi, for four weeks now. With Tiffy gone, it seemed only natural to adopt Mimi.

    She's a neat cat. She's never angry with the kids. She likes to be petted -- sometimes. And she and Pepper play together all the time.

    Welcome to the family, Mimi!

  • So, now that the motor is correctly hooked up, I took it out for a test drive. Everything went well enough, but my accelerator is only giving me about half throttle or so. Nathan came over and discovered that I'd attached the potbox in the wrong orientation; that and a little tweaking fixed that problem.

    So, time for another test drive. That's much better! Wait, what's that bucking? And the crackling noise? And the motor stink is back, too.

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: Mystery Problems"


  • Tired Tiffy

    Tiffy, our eldest cat, died yesterday.

    Melissa discovered her. It was very sad. We've been expecting it for a while: Tiffy was 19 years old, and had been progressively getting age diseases. I think only happy cats can live to be that old, so we know that we loved her and she loved us.

    She was diabetic (controlled with diet) and had arthritis. She refused to take one of her pain medicines, so life must have been pretty painful for her near the end. It's a little hard to tell, since her favorite activity has always been laying on a cushion (or paper), and that's almost exclusively what she did during her final days.

    We buried her alongside the ashes of her best friend, Hershey. We planted a red plum tree above them. Soon the circle of life will continue, as they turn into dirt to help the tree grow.

    Farewall, Tiffy. It is a comfort to know that you no longer have any pain. We will always remember you.

  • Yesterday started off terribly: my youngest didn't want to go to school, and wouldn't get out of the car when we got there; my car smelled bad from getting rained on with the windows open; my eldest had an infection.

    But everything turned around by the end of the day. The youngest loved her day at school. The car was still wet, but it was drying out. The eldest had her antibiotics.

    Better yet, after three weeks of effort, my code finally worked. I also found an empty partition on my hard drive at work and fixed a persistent, annoying space problem. That seemed to speed up the whole computer. And then, with the help of the EVDL, I fixed my EV.

    I'm ready to declare a family holiday: August 27th, the Day of Success.